The Sahara of Me…

Posted on | March 17, 2010 | 11 Comments

The well is running dry. Again. For almost seven months I have been a veritable dairy cow when it comes to milk production. Seriously. I would pump three times a day which would yield 15 ounces or more of milk. Enter Monday… sure, it was a stressful day. So I managed to pump… 10 ounces. That meant basically a full bottle of formula. Then Tuesday… not so stressful, but still a little wonky… I managed to pump… 9 ounces. This doesn’t bode well. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against formula. What I do have a problem with is giving up breastfeeding as it has afforded me the best weight I’ve been since freshman year in college. No lie, I would totally breastfeed J right through college if it meant I could fit into a size six in jeans. Maybe that makes me shallow but whatever.

Breastfeeding is such a weird thing. People have such very very strong emotions about it… either pro or con, for public feeding or adamantly against it. I was always on the fence about it, to be honest. I didn’t necessarily want to see anyone else’s boobs when I was in public, but I also thought they should be able to feed their babies wherever/whenever they so chose. I just couldn’t imagine how comfortable they must have felt with their bodies to be able to engage in public nudity like that. And then I had J. And I realized the truth.

Breastfeeding turns boobs into breasts. They are not sexual; you cease to see them that way, your husband sorta ceases to see them that way, and darn tootin’ your kid doesn’t see them that way. They aren’t nudity anymore. They are now either”what does the kid want … oh I don’t know shove a boob in his mouth,” “can I leave my bra on for everything,” and/or  “these are not really attached to me anymore are they?” feeding devices. I am so used to whipping out a breast for a feeding that sometimes I worry that I’ll be pumping at work and just walk out in the hall to ask a secretary a question. They just aren’t sexual to me anymore. Granted, I still never got to the point where I was comfortable enough to feed at a restaurant, but that is probably because Husband and I don’t take J out to a lot of restaurants. And when we do, we plan it around feeding schedules.

I was always very careful to say that I would breastfeed for six months. I hated it. I didn’t want to do it any longer than normal. I’ve blogged about that before. Yet, here I am, worrying that it may all be dwindling to an end. And you know what? I can’t bear the thought of not breastfeeding him!!! There I said it. I hate it. It hurts. And it is inconvenient and messy at work. But I wouldn’t trade a second of it for all the money in the world. When it’s over I will probably cry because it means one less thing that my son needs me for. I’m just hoping it isn’t all over this week. I don’t think I can take the sadness!!


11 Responses to “The Sahara of Me…”

  1. amy
    March 17th, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    well you know I LOVE BREASTFEEDING. A friend of mine had a bumper sticker, "i make milk, whats your superpower?" I consider it my biggest achievement. Its pretty incredible 😉
    And you've done it!!!! You have nourished a baby for six months from your body. You grew him inside and outside of you. Wow. Crazy concept.
    That being said, if it starts to dwindle, it does. Its OK. I bet you'll find the wells aren't dry though. They start to change amounts when the kid eats more solid food as they adjust amounts of nutrients etc.
    Just try to roll with it. Its a good lesson in things being out of your control (in case you don't have enough of those in your life already)!!
    love ya…..

  2. amandak
    March 17th, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

    Here's a positive thought: Drying up naturally is a good thing. Some women don't and they get terribly engorged and it can be very painful during the transition phase (because eventually you WILL want to stop breastfeeding). So, if in fact you are slowly dwindling your milk production, be glad that nature is taking care of you slowly instead of working against you. And from someone whose milk production stopped altogether when her babies were around four months, I envy you that you have gotten this far!! Great job!

  3. HarmSkills
    March 17th, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    maybe AF is coming to town?

  4. Ali
    March 17th, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

    You will find that your supply changes with your babies needs so don't stress. There are also natural suppliments out there that help increase production…
    Be happy that you made it to your goal of 6 months, being a working mom and breastfeeding is a tough gig! Give yourself major props for that.

  5. Rebekah
    March 17th, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Try changing the little flappy thing on the valve of your pump. Also, try taking fenugreek. It really boosted my supply.

    Yeah, on breastfeeding in public. I was wigged out about it at first but by the end of the year I nursed C., I had fed him everywhere from the National Mall to a horse racing track.

  6. JillyB
    March 17th, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

    Props to you! I have to admit I'm a bit jealous. I loved breastfeeding and could have feed octuplets, but I had to literally stop without weaning when Big Time was 6-weeks old. He was intolerant of all proteins that weren't already broken down for him. His intestines were bleeding because of the large undigested proteins passing through the intestinal walls. After trying all types of diet moderation for me…no dairy, no wheat, no red meat…nothing was working. Talk about sad! And engorged beyond belief. Charro had nothing on me!

    You are an amazing mom and the previous comments are right, you could just be adjusting to J's nutritional needs or the stress of the last few days has worked harder on your body than you realize. If it does stop don't consider it one less thing your son needs from you…for every one that goes a hundred more things step in and take it's place! Big Time is 4 1/2 and sometimes I think he needs me more now than when he was an infant.

  7. Crazed Mama
    March 17th, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

    I hear you! I had a hard time with my first, it got better with the last 2 but the first was hard and I was working full time which makes it harder! I didn't want to stop and ended up just nursing when I was with him, pumping when I was away and gave him formula to fill in the blanks. It was the best of both worlds for me. Your little guy will start solids soon so it will also fill in the blanks. Big hug mama!

  8. Cybil
    March 17th, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

    Great job Bessy! Breast feeding for 6 months is a HUGE achievement! Congrats! I had a similar situation as JillyB – our son had intestinal bleeding – talk about feeling like a failure – I couldn't even make the right kind of milk for my own baby!

  9. bailey
    March 17th, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

    I know how you feel! Addison never latched, so I just pumped. I got so frustrated when I couldn't get enough out. It wasn't really enjoyable for me because I didn't get the special time breastfeeding her. I wanted to pump so she could get the nutrients from the breastmilk, but it wasn't much fun for me 🙁 The weight loss thing was a great plus for it, though!! Hope your well doesn't run dry anytime soon 🙂

  10. JillyB
    March 17th, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    Oh Cybil! That's exactly how I felt. I never knew breast milk could actually be bad for a baby! I was devastated. So sorry to hear you had the same problem.

  11. Mommy Attorney
    March 22nd, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

    If you want to try and boost supply try Mommy Milk Plus, or anything with fenugreek. You should take enough of it that you start to smell like maple syrup.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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